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“I’ve always…” – Jason Wilcox reveals secret leadership trait he brings to Manchester United



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Credit: Manchester City

Jason Wilcox has revealed the secret leadership trait he brings to Manchester United as the new technical director at Old Trafford.

Wilcox, 53, joined United in an official capacity last month after Sir Jim Ratcliffe’s team reached an agreement over compensation terms with Southampton.

The former academy director at Manchester City held the director of football role at St Mary’s for nine months before departing for the job at United.

He will eventually work under Dan Ashworth, who is expected to join as sporting director, but he will likely be the main man for United in the upcoming summer transfer window.

Wilcox has already been tasked with assessing Erik ten Hag and the first-team squad at Old Trafford while also building a relationship with the Dutch manager ahead of the transfer window.

One of the most important aspects of the role Wilcox is working in is the leadership skills you have, and he believes there is a simple thing he offers that helps in that aspect.

Wilcox’s secret leadership trait

Speaking in 2021 to the Gold Dust podcast, Wilcox was asked to detail his working role as the Academy Director at City.

He detailed the way in which he managed to convince people to follow him in order to successfully “set the vision” and ensure everyone was working towards the same goals, something needed at United right now.

“My job is to lead, but to lead, I have to have people who follow. When I first got the role, on an interim basis, they didn’t follow me because I was good at the job or I was an expert in leadership,” he said.

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“They followed me initially because I feel I’m a good person. I’ve always given time for them, whether I’ve been coaching at the U13s, U18s, or technical director.

“I’ve always been somebody that has been always giving up my time, always there for anybody who needs support and help. But my job, as I’ve grown into the role and I got given the role, my job is a big one.

“But primarily, without going over leadership jargon, I’ve got to set the vision, and I’ve got to articulate the vision, and I’ve got to get the right people on the bus who are going to help me with that because I can’t do it on my own.

“I always say I have the privilege of talking about the academy, but it’s the people on the ground, my immediate team, the team all around them, that they’re the ones who are doing all the work on the ground.

“And what I do is I steer the ship, I manage a big budget, I’ve moved from being a technical expert into a leadership role. And I’ve got to inspire and influence and motivate and make sure that the ship stays in the right direction.”

The human touch offered by Wilcox could be just as important as his excellent experience and knowledge.